Four years, a global pandemic and several contractors, after the first conversation under the August sun, O Marmorista opened its doors.
The initial challenge was to transform an old marble workshop built in the 19th century, located in the heart of the financial area of the city of Porto, in a bar where one can have a unique meal or in a restaurant where one can listen to the best music, without reservations, formalities or pretensions.
The entire project should be a permanent work in progress from the space to the menu, and the architecture design should enhance this intention.
The starting point was both promising and challenging. A space full of possibilities and a group of motivated clients.
- Keep the existing building unchanged, reusing all the spatial and decorative elements existing in the space.
- The idea of sharing was central to the business concept, so the space should reflect and encourage this attitude.
- The restaurant and the bar should be a continuous but hierarchical act, be one without being the same, without physical barriers or separations, but with a clear division of moments and uses.
- First, the entrance is defined. Learning from religious architecture (eating, drinking, and dancing are themselves acts of faith) the traditional churches, entrance, street, churchyard, antechamber, and aisle are reproduced.
- Working on the idea of container and content, the building is stripped down to its skin, granite walls, and wooden roofs. Then the new program comes in by introducing marble monoliths that house the valences of the new use, kitchen, pantry, bars, and simultaneously organizing of the interior space.
The elegance and abstraction of the new polished marble bodies contrast with the rawness of the granite and concrete of the existing space.
- Everything else is minimal, honest, visible, and transformable.
The result is an eclectic, romantic, urban, brightly lit, and constantly changing space.